By the end of this comprehensive explainer, you’re going to understand not just the ins and outs of connectivity but the ups, downs and sideways too.

Are You Ready to Be an IoT Connectivity Expert?

There is an unreasonable number of acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms swimming around in the IoT world. It can often feel like they’ve been named to confuse rather than to clarify. We want to demystify IoT. We’re an agnostic connectivity provider, meaning that we never push our customers to one option over another. We’ve got no stake in pushing one type of connectivity. …

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As we come away from another year at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show), we are reminded of something that we wrote about several years ago. CES, usually the home of the bleeding edge, has a depressingly old-fashioned problem. A lack of women in positions of power and visibility.

In 2018, we wrote about the lack of women in tech and what the causes might be. The piece opens by referencing Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s 2016 CES address. …

The term “smart city” gets thrown around a lot these days. It’s a hot topic and every city from Aarhus to Zagreb seems to want to get in on the action. So, as all these cities proudly share their plans for becoming smart, or declare that they are already a smart city, we have to ask ourselves a question:

What Exactly Is It That Makes a City Smart?

In general, a smart city is considered to be one that utilizes data gathered from connected devices to inform better decision making. They optimize infrastructure through information gathered from smart sensors, networks, and applications. Data-driven services can also be connected to each other. …

The buzz around smart cities is undeniable. Even though definitions of what, exactly, a smart city is can be hard to pin down, more and more authorities around the world are jumping on the smart city bandwagon in an effort to improve the cost-efficiency and liveability of their city.

The Benefits of Smart Cities

Smart cities can certainly bring a lot of benefits, both to their residents in improved quality of life and public services and to authorities in reduced costs and increased efficiency.

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Smart technology can tell you when your bus will arrive, design better traffic flow, save energy and money by dimming streetlights when the streets are empty, monitor air pollution, and schedule garbage pickups more efficiently. …

Edge-based computing, processing of data at the edge of a network rather than in a centralized cloud location, can bring a number of benefits to those deploying IoT applications. One of the benefits can be increased security.

IoT devices are vulnerable to security breaches. Many are brought to market as quickly and cheaply as possible, with security as an overthought, if considered at all.

Many IoT devices come with easily guessable built-in passwords, insufficient memory for basic security features such as firewalls or two-factor authentication and the lack of ability to receive software patches or upgrades.

Securing the network your IoT application operates on is often a more efficient, effective and economical way of adding security to your IoT deployment than trying to secure the devices themselves. …

One of the unsung benefits of smart cities may be their ability to help elderly people age in their own homes. There are many benefits of smart healthcare technology for elderly people. Smart cities can expand that caring technology to encompass a whole city.

Smart technology can help make a city more accessible for the elderly and disabled, enabling them to live independently.

Smart technology can also help make a city more accessible for people of any age and enable them to live independently and make the most of the benefits of city living.

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An Aging and Urbanizing Population

Many developed countries have an aging population. Ensuring that people can live full, happy, independent lives for as long as possible, while coping with the challenges of an aging population, will be one of the most important tasks of the next few years. …

By combining embedded SIMs (also known as eSIMs) with eUICC software which allows multiple profiles to be provisioned on one SIM card, users are able to embed one SIM card and have access to multiple operators. This exciting technology will change the way we look at IoT SIM cards forever and disrupt the entire connectivity chain from manufacturer to service provider.

But what exactly is this super spec anyway? And why does it matter? Wonder no longer.

eU What?

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The current generation of SIM cards use a UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card), which stores information and applications securely for the SIM profile, and in this case, eUICC is really just an improved, embedded version of that secure technology. The first important thing to remember about eUICC is that it is not a new ‘form factor’ of SIM card like mini (2FF), micro (3FF), or nano (4FF) SIMs, and instead restructures the SIM to allow for multiple profiles on one card. There has been a new form factor introduced alongside the eUICC spec, MFF2, which is smaller and more resistant to heat, cold and dust, but is not used in every case that eUICC is useful. …

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Edge computing can vastly reduce latency. Edge computing decentralizes data processing and moves it closer to the place where it was generated (at the ‘edge’ of the network). As the data does not have to travel to a central cloud latency is reduced.

Low latency vital if we want to see many of the possible applications of IoT being realized.

Without reduced latency, many IoT applications simply aren’t possible, practical, or desirable. This is particularly true in smart cities, healthcare, IIoT, and autonomous transport.

Impatience is a Virtue

There has been much hype about IIoT (Industrial IoT), with promises to improve efficiency, reduce risks, and increase profits. Along with the implementation of other new technologies, it’s being called the fourth industrial revolution. Experts are predicting that it will be more disruptive than any that have gone before and one of the most significant changes will be in the way we work. IoT tech helps oil and gas industry’s skills shortage.

The oil and gas industry is currently facing a skills shortage. A survey of more than 17,000 industry professionals found that 40% of respondents felt that a crisis had already hit the industry, with a further 28% expecting it to take hold in the next five years. …

The percentage of the world’s population who are over 60 is increasing rapidly, particularly in some of the most developed nations. According to the World Health Organization, nearly two billion people across the world are expected to be over 60 years old by 2050. That’s more than triple the number there was in 2000.

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Although healthier diets and improvements in medical care have contributed to this trend (the other factor is a decrease in birth rates) it is viewed as a concerning development by many of the countries with an aging population.

An aging population means increases in the cost of pensions at the same time as there are (proportionally) less young people in the workforce paying taxes. It puts a strain on the health service and requires a greater number of care workers and other types of support, particularly if elderly people wish to remain in their homes. …


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